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View Full Version : Bad times in Tampa and Florida for GW



Duke Georgal
01-11-2008, 20:49
I made the trip to Tampa today to play in a Warhammer RTT at the Colliseum of Comics.

This store used to be the Goblin Shoppe, and they officially held more RTTs than any other location in the USA. It is the only store I know of where they carried EVERYTHING in the entire GW line. They even held RTTs for BB, BFG, and LOTR!

Now they are closed! The doors were locked! They are out of business!

I cannot believe one of he iconic GW independent retailers is closed.

The Gulf Coast of Florida used to have the best games stores in the USA, all the way from Fort Myers to New Port Ritchie. They have been dying off one by one. Pioneer, Camelot, Empire, Merlin's, Omniverse, Pop's and so on.

Now one of the Royals have fallen.

Are times really this bad for our hobby?

Shipmonkey
02-11-2008, 01:18
Enterprise still open in Orlando?

orks2134
02-11-2008, 01:37
The only store I ever found in Orlando was Sci-Fi City, but I was so disappointed with it I called it Sci-Fi Sh. Well, you get it.

Duke Georgal
02-11-2008, 02:36
There is Rhubarb Games in Orlando (Winter Park), and a Colliseum of Comics in Kissimmee (unless it closed also).

I love Sci-Fi City! Why were you disappointed so badly?

Maskedman5oh4
02-11-2008, 04:43
Duke Georgal I found out as much today when I went to CoC to pickup the new Warriors of Chaos book. They is a store I found on 56th street and Fowler called Armada Games that I am going to check out. Maybe one day, we can meet up to play.

Teufelskerl
02-11-2008, 12:25
I remember Enterprise in Orlando quite fondly (this was from back in '86 though.) As far as I know, it's been gone for a while.

One thing to keep in mind on shops that did quite a bit of business in the comics trade, is that selling comics has been a losing game for some time. I know of more comic shops than I can name which have gone under simply because selling comics was loosing them too much money. The pure game shops that go under are more noteworthy (like Other Realms in Gaithersburg MD which, despite being one of the top GW retailers in the mid-Atlantic, even outselling the Maryland Battle Bunker at Christmases, still went under due to low cash flow throughout the year.)


Frederich

Psyker Bearzerker
05-11-2008, 06:10
Az lost the its first and only GW... independent retailers here for the most part dont have anything more then a squad of space marines... not even the hobby bench has a single blister... fail :(

snurl
05-11-2008, 09:10
Sometimes these places move to a new location. Always ask at the store next door for info on what happened. I breifly lost track of a store that way once, and was glad that I asked. The store I frequent most often is on it's 4th location since I found out about it.

Templar Ben
05-11-2008, 09:25
I thought Enterprise became Sci Fi City.

JackBurton01
05-11-2008, 11:47
Actually POPs in Sarasota is still open. Armada games is a good store. So is silver Dragon. Are you sure Colliseum is closed? They keep some strange hours.

oni
05-11-2008, 14:42
Independent stores move around a lot, but yes, they also fold and close up shop a lot. It's very unfortunate.

I had this problem in my home town. Stores were/are always on the move. Stores that I thought would never go under are now gone.

The problem with local gaming stores is that it's hard for them to stay in business with a good portion of its customers only coming in to play and not buy, but even more so the stores are commonly run/owned by a gamer. If you have your own store, you must be a business man FIRST and a gamer second, if you put gaming ahead of business, well... You'll not be in business very long.

Not to mention, most gamers are always looking to save $ and maximize what they can get, buy shopping online. This is a double edged sword. While it's nice to save $ and all, it hurts the local gaming store. I saw my old FLGS take a HUGE hit when eBay first became popular years ago and I actually think eBay played a big part in that store closing up shop for good and also one other in my home town.

Duke Georgal
06-11-2008, 11:43
Actually POPs in Sarasota is still open. Armada games is a good store. So is silver Dragon. Are you sure Colliseum is closed? They keep some strange hours.

I was referring to the other location. Pop's had a much nicer store in Bradenton that closed a couple of years ago. The Bradenton store was more focused on gaming than comics. The Pop's location in Sarasota was sold to a new owner last year, and I don't think they have put any new gaming stock on the shelf since. I was in there in September and it was the worst mess I have ever seen. That store really is gasping for life at this point.

I love Armada, but I can't see how they stay in business. They have such a low ratio of sales to gaming space. If they manage to make that a success, it should become a model of how to make a good game store. If I lived in Tampa I would be there all the time, but with such a low emphasis on sales it isn't as fun a place to go shop as I pass through.

I have only been in Silver Dagon once. The guy behind the counter was kind of a jerk so I never went back.

I noticed Hobbytown on 60 (Brandon) has expanded their gaming space. That looks like a good sign.

TheDarkDuke
06-11-2008, 17:20
Local stores went through a rough patch for awhile. Largely in part for two reasons.

First reason: Comic Books

Comics were great sellers and tons of places grew due to their sales. Eventually comics started to fade away. This is often referenced as The Death of Superman. When DC killed him, comics lost 40% of total sales the following year. Since then they have never recovered and has only slowly faded.

Second Reason: Trading Cards

What saved most of these places for a little while, but brought them in a ton of $$? It started with a little something called Pokemon, then everyone followed suit, Marvel, DC, and others, but Pokemon dominated it all. I remember my first local comic/gaming store, it moved twice and finially had a monster sized store, and well was packed to the brim with people always buying Pokemon, and comics were actually still doing quite well in my city. They were doing so well they opened a second location in the mall. Pokemon started to die, a new local gaming store opened but focused its power on everything but cards, comics, games workshop and animation. The first store closed its monster store and tried to stay a float in the mall. Rent and sales dropped and they only had cards by the time they had there going out of business sale. They followed the craze and died because of it. That new local store... well its thriving as the only comic book and games workshop dealer in the city. They don't over stock the product, they don't follow the craze trend that will fade. If you want a crazy order of like 20 boxes of Ork boyz or 50 boxes of Night Goblins... well they may have a box or two but your gonna have to ask for them to order it for you. Smart business.

Those two things crippled a vast majority of Indy stores. Lastly the fans who start there own stores up before doing proper research, or with not enough funds to survive and up start. These tend to pop up and are gone within 8 months.

JackBurton01
06-11-2008, 19:07
I don't know exactly what you are talking about. Pops has six full gaming tables with nice terrain and I've bought all of my new stuff there. They had a pipe leak in september that caused them to move some stuff around, but its fine there now. They have a 40k rouge every month, with good prize support. We have a good core of regulars. Theres also the Darkside up the road if you don't like us. Send me your email and I'll let you know when the next tournament is.

Duke Georgal
07-11-2008, 03:36
I don't know exactly what you are talking about. Pops has six full gaming tables with nice terrain and I've bought all of my new stuff there. They had a pipe leak in september that caused them to move some stuff around, but its fine there now. They have a 40k rouge every month, with good prize support. We have a good core of regulars. Theres also the Darkside up the road if you don't like us. Send me your email and I'll let you know when the next tournament is.

September was the last time I was in there. It was a terrible mess. I knew nothing about the pipe leak.

I was up there looking to buy a box of Dragon Princes, which they had, and I bought. However, other stock was way down. Next time I am in Sarasota I will stop in again and give it another look.

I had a very bad experience (very poor customer service) at Darkside which I will not describe here because I am certain that it was not their normal way of doing things, but I will probably never go in that store again.

If you have been playing at Pops for a while you have probably seen me there. I am the HUGE TALL guy that normally plays Orcs or Bretonnia in Fantasy. I used to play Praetorian Imperial Guard in 40K and my daughter played her "Hello Kitty Eldar" army for a while. That paint job has been stripped and I am repainting it as my own more proper Eldar army now. I won the first WFB RTT that Pops held using my Chaos Dwarfs, and the next month my daughter won their first 40K RTT. Neither of us have won an official RTT since!

I always found it very convenient that Pops was right next to Big & Tall store.

Joker2and53
13-11-2008, 01:44
Are any of you guys around Tallahassee? I just moved here within the last couple years and I need to find some nerds....

Duke Georgal
14-11-2008, 01:16
Are any of you guys around Tallahassee? I just moved here within the last couple years and I need to find some nerds....

There is a Yahoo group for Florida Gamers called "ALARUM", but I don't know if there are any Tallahassee players. I know there are a few from Jacksonville.

Give it a try.

Halelel
14-11-2008, 01:39
Az lost the its first and only GW... independent retailers here for the most part dont have anything more then a squad of space marines... not even the hobby bench has a single blister... fail :(

I haven't been to that GW shop in Arizona Mills in a long time, did it really finally bite the dust? I always thought it wasn't the smartest move to put a hobby shop like that inside a *******' mall.

Of course, there have been multiple stores over the years that have closed down across Arizona. With the economy going the way it is right now, I wouldn't be surprised if many of the smaller stores in secluded areas end up closing shop as well. I know the hobby will be in dire straights if the largest indy stores close down shop, like Adeptus Arizona or Imperial Outpost.

Duke Georgal
15-11-2008, 11:54
I haven't been to that GW shop in Arizona Mills in a long time, did it really finally bite the dust? I always thought it wasn't the smartest move to put a hobby shop like that inside a *******' mall.

Did Games Workshop's arrangement with Mills Malls finally expire?

G-W was required under a contractual agreement to maintain a store in every Mills Malls location in the USA, but for some reason this did not apply to Sugarland Mills Mall here in Florida, so we never got an official GW store. It was always rumored, but never happened.

Norsehawk
15-11-2008, 13:46
I used to make the drive over to Goblin Shoppe to buy my stuff, but since my armies aren't painted to my acceptable level, I never played there.

I stopped going there about the time Apocalypse came out. I had placed about $1000 worth of pre-orders with him, including 2 baneblades. I go out of my way to get there on the launch day of Apocalypse only to be told that he never bothered placing my order, and that the baneblades in the shop were already spoken for and that I had just wasted a few gallons of gas and an hour's time driving over there.

Since then, I have stayed local and made large purchases online only.

Guy Fawkes
19-11-2008, 02:26
I live on the east coast of central Florida, and I say the stores around here are hit hard. I've got several gaming shops in my smallish city and they are all getting hit hard by the economic slump in America. GW products are luxury items and when people need to tighten the belt, models go first. It's sad, but I think, inevitable. I am confident the gaming market will recover over time however.

shakespear
19-11-2008, 17:31
I know of alot of gaming in Florida, they just dont play GW.

http://www.bobeshobbyhouse.com/

is a great store, FOW is huge on the panhandle, they also do a fair amount of historicals and AT-43/Confrontation

GW players have to drive to AL.

Halelel
19-11-2008, 18:06
Did Games Workshop's arrangement with Mills Malls finally expire?

G-W was required under a contractual agreement to maintain a store in every Mills Malls location in the USA, but for some reason this did not apply to Sugarland Mills Mall here in Florida, so we never got an official GW store. It was always rumored, but never happened.

Been looking for some sort of confirmation, but haven't gotten any yet. I might have to make a trip out to that location in Arizona, just to check and see if they are really gone.

The AZ Mills location was always a bad idea, so I'm not exactly sad to see it gone.

We hobby nerds like our own place of refuge. to have fun eating, drinking, and playing. So why the heck would you put our store in the middle of the largest mall in AZ? I know I wouldn't walk through a crowded mall with a suitcase full of minis and a 6 pack of beer, haha (unless I really really wanted a game!)

Duke Georgal
20-11-2008, 04:58
I know of alot of gaming in Florida, they just dont play GW.

http://www.bobeshobbyhouse.com/

is a great store, FOW is huge on the panhandle, they also do a fair amount of historicals and AT-43/Confrontation

GW players have to drive to AL.


Flames of War is pretty big here too.

Great game!

I like the people who call it Warhammer WW2!

Major Thom
24-11-2008, 20:39
Another causality is Gateway Games they closed this weekend. They were in Pinellas Park, FL across the bay from Tampa

Templar Ben
24-11-2008, 23:31
I know of alot of gaming in Florida, they just dont play GW.

http://www.bobeshobbyhouse.com/

is a great store, FOW is huge on the panhandle, they also do a fair amount of historicals and AT-43/Confrontation

GW players have to drive to AL.

Where can you play in Alabama? I tried to get some games in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa but it is hard to find players.

shakespear
25-11-2008, 00:19
Where can you play in Alabama? I tried to get some games in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa but it is hard to find players.


http://gulfsouthgamers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4

Not all these do GW


Al
Borderland relics
http://borderlandrelics.com/

Huntsville, AL:
Book Mark (open gaming – mostly RPG/board games, some minis)
Hobby Town USA (GW, FOW, but open to anything)
The Deep (mostly Mechwarrior clix)
Huntsville Alabama Area Gaming Society
http://www.haawgs.com/

Decatur, AL:
The Comic Shop II (mostly Heroclix and STar Wars clix)

Mobile
Hobbytown (Had a 30+ RTT a few months ago)

I think AL ended up with 3 'Ard boys tournament spots, memphis didnt get one

Duke Georgal
25-11-2008, 02:50
Another causality is Gateway Games they closed this weekend. They were in Pinellas Park, FL across the bay from Tampa

No!

They just had a nice Flames of War event there last week!

When will this bloodshed end?

What is left in Central/South Florida?

Ft Myers: 2D10 Games
Cape Coral: Cool Comics
Sarasota: Pops & Dark Side
Brandon: Hobbytown
Temple Terrace: Armada Games
Tampa: Silver Dragon
Orlando: Sci-Fi City & Rhubarb Games

That's about half of what we had five years ago.

Norsehawk
25-11-2008, 11:13
I haven't checked them in the last couple of weeks, but:
Clearwater and Pinellas Park: Emerald City
Largo: Comics and Critters Too (tho I can't stand the smell in there really)

shakespear
13-12-2008, 18:23
If you guys want a Florida gamers forum I can set you on gulfsouthgamers.com

vomitbrown
20-12-2008, 03:50
There are two very good stores in Jacksonville, Florida that seem to be doing pretty well. They are called Borderlands and Wardogs. They are both run by great guys, who know the intricacies of the business of Hobby gaming.

WillFightForFood
20-12-2008, 21:07
I can vouch for Wardogs in Jacksonville. I spent many, many years there. Great place, great owner. Borderlands is a good store, though I'd never much spent time there, as it's a in a high traffic area near a mall and harder to get to. Both stores have a lot of gaming space and good sized gaming crowds, largely as a result of several other game stores closing the last few years.

The thing about store closings is that it's always sad, but on the other hand it leads to larger crowds in remaining stores, increased revenues for those stores, and allows them to get more space for gaming. This allows for bigger communities of players and allows for smaller games to succeed.

Corporal Chaos
20-12-2008, 23:55
The Tampa Bay area is a real killer of game shops. I had no idea that we had so many go tits up.

Crazy Harborc
21-12-2008, 02:51
Our one and only (in my state)GW store is closing in January. It is a "Mills mall store". Apparently GW is phasing out all the "Mills mall" offical stores.

BEFORE the opening of the GW store at St.Louis Mills (about 5 years?? ago) there were 14 indie stores within about a 100 mile wide circle of the Greater St.Louis area. Most were comic stores too.

NOW there are 4/5 stores mentioned in the monthly list in WD magazine....stores within 100 miles of the ST. Louis area. I doubt any of the remaining indie stores will be taking up the slack after GW closes it's doors.

The indie store owners (I knew/know several)don't really seem to not trust the GW company.

Thousands of companies, cutting prices to increase sales and thus (net) profits......GW raises them:confused:. THAT causes reduced sales numbers AND less incoming monies mean the on paper expenses/costs of items sold increases. Yeah, yeah...I know it's the way GW has done and grown doing it.......TILL the last 3-4 years that is.

crackbabytoo
21-12-2008, 04:01
From what I understand Colliseum of Comics in Tampa was closed because of its distance from all the other Colliseum of Comics stores. It was the only one located in Tampa. The rest are more centerally located to each other in and around Orlando. The store's location is what killed it.

There are a few stores that are trying to fill the gap, but i think that you will need to wait till after the 1st of the year and look in White Dwarf to see who is running events.

I know that Hobbytown in Brandon has a good sized group that plays on Saturdays, but I don't know of what events are currently planning.

Norsehawk
21-12-2008, 05:55
If that is the case Crackbabytoo, why did they buy Goblin Shoppe in the first place?

crackbabytoo
21-12-2008, 23:11
Charles - the orginal owner of goblin shoppe was looking to sell and he was familiar with the folks at colliseum of comics. They had approached him a number of times about becoming a franchise, but he didn't want to sell comics. He didn't see the $ in it.

It got to a point were Charles was getting burned out. He needed to sell and get the $ that was orginally invested out of it. COC had the $, and wanted entry into the Tampabay market. The management of COC didn't realize how hard it was to run a store located that far away.

They were month to month with the landlord in Tampa and they were getting ready to open a new store that was closer. So they decided to close that one and move the inventory to the new location.

gorgon
22-12-2008, 00:46
Our one and only (in my state)GW store is closing in January. It is a "Mills mall store". Apparently GW is phasing out all the "Mills mall" offical stores.

Really? Hmm. Philly's only GW store is in Franklin Mills...wonder if that's going to stay? Truthfully, I've said since the store opened that the mall (mostly outlet and discount stores and not in a wealthy suburb) is a completely wrong demographic for them. Although, they're next door to a video games store, which is a good spot, albeit in a bad mall.

Crazy Harborc
23-12-2008, 00:16
I was told that as GW stores that are in "Mills Malls" are due to sign a new lease the store(s) will be "phased out". Not just moved to another location but closed.

Rated_lexxx
23-12-2008, 02:02
I lived in flordia for a few years and you guys don't know how lucky you have it. Here in Maine there is 2 gaming stores and 1 comic store in the southern half of the state and maybe 2 gaming stores in the northern half of the state.

Luckily though the 2 gaming stores in the south have been around for a while. Crossroad games has been around for about years and maiden games has been around for 5 years.

Maskedman5oh4
23-12-2008, 05:07
I lived in flordia for a few years and you guys don't know how lucky you have it. Here in Maine there is 2 gaming stores and 1 comic store in the southern half of the state and maybe 2 gaming stores in the northern half of the state.

Luckily though the 2 gaming stores in the south have been around for a while. Crossroad games has been around for about years and maiden games has been around for 5 years.


Maine has 1.3 million people. Florida has 18.5 million people. Of course Florida is going to have more independent stores.

Ork
24-12-2008, 12:29
The local store here went through some bad spells. I live in minnesota. We had one store that over expanded and closed with the pokemon fad. There's another store (air traffic) that sells a lot of kits and frolf disks. They're completely douched out the local gaming community though. Then another indie opened up. They tried to make it on GW alone really and the owner become different... seemed to care less. Then another store opened (Misty Mountain) and they're doing great. They do all the big magic tournaments and preleases or whatever. They have a TON of space, so they easily run 40k tournaments. They have magic nights of some sort three nights a week I think, plus Yu-Gi-O stuff. Always about 15 people in there playing some sort of CCG. The warhammer base is growing. I think we had about ten guys in there tonight. Plus my buddys and I always go in there to play each other. It's hard to support them continuously though, since I only go there on breaks, as I go to school in kansas.

This reminds me, anyone looking to play 40k in lawrence, ks, send me a pm.

Easy E
24-12-2008, 22:49
Minnesota had a recent growth in Indie stores, but I'm not sure that is going to be able to maintain. There was a quick surge of fly by night operations that have now folded, but the big, serious (not just card games) shops are still around. However, I think times will be tough and careful inventory management will be in order.

Are the big four I can think of.
The Source
Misty Mountain
Tower Games
Pheonix Games

PANZERBUNNY
24-12-2008, 23:16
I'm 27 now and the steady decline and bs mistakes GW made started with cutting out their distro to the stores suppliers.
You used to be able to order specific blisters etc, have them go in and pick what they wanted etc.

Maybe thats not a huge plus anymore due to many more GW stores around, but it was a huge deal at that time.

The head honchos will run that company in to the ground.

Rated_lexxx
28-12-2008, 17:59
Maine has 1.3 million people. Florida has 18.5 million people. Of course Florida is going to have more independent stores.

my point exactly. Florida has a lot more stores.

One of maines stores close and we lose half our gaming store. We are one of the highest taxed states in the US. The cost of living here and the amount people get paid is out of whack.

Flordians make more money, pay less. I have done a lot of research into this because I want to move back.

To be a gamer in maine sucks

Doominator
04-01-2009, 19:31
On the topic of stores in the Florida area, does anyone in the Clearwater area play any Warhammer Fantasty, and I mean at Emerald City because 40k and CCG are the hotspots for that place.:eyebrows:

And is the Coliseum of Comics in Tampa (formally Goblin Shop) really closed because that was really the best indie hobby store I've ever been to, concerning GW stuff of course...:angel:

Maskedman5oh4
05-01-2009, 04:33
On the topic of stores in the Florida area, does anyone in the Clearwater area play any Warhammer Fantasty, and I mean at Emerald City because 40k and CCG are the hotspots for that place.:eyebrows:

And is the Coliseum of Comics in Tampa (formally Goblin Shop) really closed because that was really the best indie hobby store I've ever been to, concerning GW stuff of course...:angel:

Goblin Shoppe aka Coliseum of Comics is no more! I live like 5 miles north of that loc. Apparently the place to go is Armada Games ~ Friday nights genrally 40k Sundays generally Fantasy but you can play pickup games whenever. I almost have my WoC assembled and am in the process of painting them. I would meet you for 40k or fantasy~

Doominator
06-01-2009, 01:50
Ok cool I will look into getting to Armada Games some time! Is there a nice crowd or sometink? Idk, its just that E-City is nearby yet is filled with those playing CCG's or 40k and Im working on VC, but Im not a powergamer so don't worry;)

Though Im dying for some skaven, which are due soon:rolleyes:

But that's a shame Goblin Shoppe is no more, it was a true GW fanboy's dream indie store. Let's just hope that more like come up.:(

ctsteel
06-01-2009, 08:42
I noticed this on the GW US site the other day, and thought of this thread:

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?community=true&catId=&categoryId=800003&aId=3500005

Note in particular the following bit:

Growth Plans: Games Workshop intends to open 100 shops in the next 5 years, mainly concentrated in the top 10 metropolitan areas of the United States. To facilitate this expansion plan, Games Workshop has built and opened a new state of the art manufacturing and distribution facility in Memphis, Tennessee.


I don't know how long ago this was put on the website, as to whether it predates the economic downturn, but they haven't revised it so I presume it's still the case. So - perhaps the future (for GW) for the US isn't so grim?

ankara halla
06-01-2009, 08:54
I noticed this on the GW US site the other day, and thought of this thread:

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?community=true&catId=&categoryId=800003&aId=3500005

Note in particular the following bit:


I don't know how long ago this was put on the website, as to whether it predates the economic downturn, but they haven't revised it so I presume it's still the case. So - perhaps the future (for GW) for the US isn't so grim?

Dude... that's from 2004

ctsteel
06-01-2009, 09:22
[shrugs] there's no date on it, I couldn't tell, and figured that since it was there post-website-update that it must be recent....

ankara halla
06-01-2009, 09:42
[shrugs] there's no date on it, I couldn't tell, and figured that since it was there post-website-update that it must be recent....

Yeah, it would be handy if GW actually did date their pages instead of just copy-pasting stuff around.

In this report a time stamp can be found on the "Hobby Center Layout" page (11/29/04). The Memphis facility however is even older than that, and the report describes it as new. This alone confirms that the report is not up to date.

But yes, it certainly wouldn't make their new and improved website any worse if they'd date their articles and reports on it.